Lifeboat charity saves lives every day

The RNLI has announced that they saved 506 lives in 2022.

Amazing! Tell me more.

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is a charity designed to save the lives of people in danger in UK waters. In 2022, they were able to save 506 lives – that’s more than one life saved every day of the year!

Plus, in 2022 the RNLI lifeboats launched 9,312 times– an increase of 5% on 2021. Because of this, the RNLI is calling for people to take part in their Mayday Mile fundraiser.

What is the Mayday Mile?

The charity is putting out its own ‘Mayday’ call, urging the public to take part in the Mayday Mile fundraiser – taking on the challenge of covering a mile a day for the month of May. All money raised will help to provide the vital training and equipment that is needed to keep its lifesavers safe, while they risk their own lives to save others.

So walk it, run it, skate it – even skip it if you’d rather! But sign up for the Mayday Mile Fundraiser, and raise funds for the RNLI to help keep people safe on our coast.

This article aligns with the UN SDG Partnership for the Goals.


An Arizona neighborhood is an urban forest and community pantry

A neighborhood outside of Tuscon, Arizona, called Dunbar Springs, has become an urban forest of sorts, with unpaved roads surrounded by food-bearing plants that are watered using rainwater diverted from the streets. The entire idea was to create an urban food forest that could serve as a natural pantry for the community. 

It all began about 30 years ago and serves as a tool to deal with climate change and rising food costs providing food for residents and roughage for livestock, plus a massive tree coverage in the third-fastest warming city in the nation. The amount of food they have is incredibly wide-ranging as well, with over 100 plant species in a single block.

“Since 1996 we’ve collaborated with our neighbors to plant over 1,600 native food- and medicine-bearing native trees and many hundreds of multi-use native understory plants,” the Dunbar Spring Neighborhood Foresters organization shares on its website.

All of that is fed by a stormwater system that irrigates the whole thing.

The original plan was just to plant weather-resistant shading trees to help alleviate some of the blistering heat in Arizona and now 30 years later its become something else entirely. 

“We can plant resilient native trees that are not dependent on imported water for irrigation,” said Brad Lancaster, a resident and co-founder of the Dunbar/Spring Neighborhood Foresters organization.

“Trees shade the street, reduce heat stress and provide food for our neighborhood.”

Find out more and see how you can support the neighborhood here.

This article aligns with the UN SDG Partners of the Goals.


Missouri schools are providing free period products to students

Feminine products can be costly. Generally, products geared toward women and feminine presenting people have something called the ‘pink tax’, which refers to state sales tax on menstrual products, like tampons, and feminine pads. To some people, these products can be too expensive for them to have consistent access to.

This is something that educators and school nurses in Missouri were noticing as they say their students struggle to afford period products and have missed school because of periods.

In response, Missouri school districts are now offering free menstrual hygiene products to students thanks to a new source of state funding.

Missouri’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has $1 million to reimburse schools for menstrual hygiene products and now schools are going to start carrying them for free for students to help keep them in the classroom. 

“We have heard stories about students not being able to fund these products for themselves,” Bart Washer, Interim Assistant Commissioner with the Office of College and Career Readiness, said. “The fact that they can stay in school because they now have access to products that they need, we can focus on that level of care to help them continue learning.”

Every district qualifies for at least $500 in reimbursement but can apply for more if they have more students or higher-need students.

“We’re socialized to kind of overlook some of the issues that impact girls,” Jennings Senior High School Principal Cryslynn Billingsley said. “So here’s another opportunity for us to address some of that socialization, and that you don’t have to be ashamed about having a period.”

This article aligns with the UN SDG Good Health and Wellbeing.


11-year-old wins RSPCA award with this amazing pic

An 11-year-old photographer has been announced the winner of the RSPCA’s Young Photographer of the Year.

Tell me more!

This nature-loving 11-year-old from Kearsley in Bolton has just been crowned People’s Choice in the RSPCA’s Young Photographer of the Year.

Ellie-Grace Braidwood had been walking on a local farm with her parents when she spotted the inquisitive sheep that became her winning picture.

Titled ‘Ewe looking at me?’ the winning picture was taken on Samsung Galaxy S10,

What does winning mean?

Ellie-Grace will receive £100 worth of vouchers from, an RSPCA Young Photographer Awards 2022 trophy and a certificate. 

The competition is supported by Nature’s Images, Camtraptions and

Entries for the main RSPCA Young Photographer Awards 2023 will open on Thursday 4th May 2023.

This article aligns with the UN SDG Partnership for the Goals.


Reducing radon effects around the US

Something that not many people are aware of is radon and the effects that it can have on you. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers and nearly one out of every 15 homes in the United States has high radon levels.

Some organizations and companies are trying to bring awareness to radon and its dangers. One such company, EcoSense, created a radon detection system called the EcoQube for just that reason. 

The EcoQube was built to also track the fluctuating levels of radon in the home.

“The general public does not know much when it comes to radon issues,” Insoo Park, the founder of EcoSense, tells Smiley News. “Something people did not know until my product was available was radon levels are fluctuating all the time. So even in a single day radon levels can fluctuate between safe and unsafe levels.”

Through their company, they are also trying to raise awareness about radon and how it can affect your body. The device itself tracks things in the short term while also monitoring long-term changes in the household.

“It’s very crucial to use a device that can do a short-term testing and also long-term testing in a very accurate and fast manner,” Insoo says.

They’re working to eliminate preventable deaths from radon exposure.

“21,000 people are dying to radon in the US every year,” Insoo says. “If we do the radon Testing the right way while being able to check the radon level in real-time and then by using a really accurate and fast manner device, then we can save a lot of lives so those 20,000 people don’t have to die.”

This article aligns with the UN SDG Good Health and Wellbeing.


What a night! The 6th Charity Film Awards

Studded with stars and incredible films, the Smiley Charity Film Awards 2023 was a night to remember. 

Hosted by comedian Tom Allen, we had the likes of Arlene Phillips and Jason Watkins, as well as TV presenters AJ and Curtis Pritchard, who were ecstatic to come and celebrate these wonderful charities.

At the beginning of the night, our CEO Nicolas Loufrani addressed the audience, giving them an introduction to Smiley Movement and all the things we are doing to spotlight charities – from our Smiley News articles to our videos highlighting charity work.

And then, it was straight into the winners’ ceremony. What a night it was!

There were so many truly incredible awards given out. Some of the highlights include our overall Charity Film of the Year 2023, won by the Welsh Refugee Council for their film Wales is a Nation of Sanctuary, as well as our People’s Choice Film of the Year 2023, which went to Brooke and their film Unbreakable Bonds.

It was an absolute pleasure to be able to watch all the winning films at the ODEON Luxe, Leicester Square, surrounded by charities whose hard work deserves all the celebration it can get. We know how hard these charities work every single day of the year, so each part of the evening was designed to make them feel like the stars they are.

From goody bags to photo ops, to our yellow carpet walk, there was so much going on. One thing’s for sure, our minds were opened even more to the causes these charities support, and just how important each organisation is for the work they do.

To everyone who was up for an award last night, and even those who were watching along at home – thank you so much, and we hope you had a blast!

The winners of the Charity Film Awards 2023:

Charity Film of the Year 2023

Welsh Refugee CouncilWales is a Nation of Sanctuary

People’s Choice Film of the Year 2023

BrookeUnbreakable Bonds

Bicester Collection International Impact 

Winner: World Connect Inc.The women fish farmers of Ndombo Sandjiry, Senegal

Silver: L’ENVOL – ‘Vanessa facing her children’s illness’

Bronze: Barretstown – ‘Alex’s Story – Press Play with Barretstown’

Corporate Cause

Winner: AsdaThe Real Self-Checkout

Silver: Industrial Metal Services – ‘Giving Back’

Bronze: Samsung Global Goals – ‘We Are The Future’


Winner: Barnardo’s – The Big If

Silver: Save The Children UK – ‘A Celebration of Girls’ Rights’

Bronze: Guide Dogs – ‘One Second Every Day | Making memories with Nell, a six year old with sight loss’

People’s Choice: Canal & River Trust – ‘Our Story’

Silver: RSPCA (England & Wales) – ‘The gift’

Bronze: RNLI – ‘A bedtime story’


Winner: NacroCell Street Repeat at Christmas

Silver: Jewish Care – ‘We Are Open’

Bronze: Shelter – ‘The Drive’

People’s Choice: Anthony NolanOne Little Boy’s Lifesaving Legacy

Silver: Mind – ‘The Fight for Mental Health’

Bronze: Nacro – ‘Cell Street Repeat at Christmas’


WRAP Recycle NowLet’s Get Real About Recycling

Silver: Breast Cancer Now – ‘Real Talk’

Bronze: Groundwork UK – ‘Taking control of rising energy costs with Green Doctor: John’s Story’ 

People’s Choice: Prior’s CourtAutism, the performing arts and Jamie

Silver: Samaritans – ‘Break the silence’

Bronze: Barts Charity – ‘Barts 900’


Martlets HospiceMarc’s Story

Silver: Dementia UK – ‘I live with dementia’

Bronze: Children With Cancer UK – ‘When I Grow Up – Eve’s story’

People’s Choice: The Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad (SPANA)International Working Animal Day 2022

Silver: Havens Hospices – ‘Dying Matters at Havens Hospices – 2022’

Bronze: Dementia UK – ‘I live with dementia’


Charity: WaterWalk for Water

Silver: Child Bereavement UK – ‘Puddle Jumping’ 

Bronze: Justice and Care – ‘Car wash’

People’s Choice: Animals AsiaNo Bear Left Behind

Silver: Great Western Ambulance Charity – ‘Stay with us’

Bronze: Kinship – ‘#ValueOurLove’


Young Westminster FoundationThe Hand That Helps

Silver: Children and Families Across Borders – ‘Finding Home’

Bronze: Care4Calais – ‘Care4Calais – Safe Passage’

People’s Choice: UK Sepsis TrustRaising Awareness in the Farming Community

Silver: The Listening Place – ‘The Listening Place – Volunteers’

Bronze: Waverley Hoppa Community Transport – ‘Waverley Hoppa Community Transport promotional video’


My Life My ChoiceMLMC Travel Buddies Franchise

Silver: Solving Kids’ Cancer UK – ‘Luke’s Legacy’

Bronze: Kidscape with Giants Live – ‘What does STRONG mean to you?’

People’s Choice: Action for Stammering ChildrenMe & My Stammer

Silver: Wheels For All – ‘We Ride Together’

Bronze: Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide – ‘The Ripple Effect’


Harry Kane Foundation Harry Kane: Resilience

Silver: Carney’s Community – ‘Carney’s Community Film’

Bronze: Mankind Initiative – ‘Men, You Are Not Alone’

People’s Choice: Pregnant Then ScrewedBirth during lockdown

Silver: Brighton Table Tennis Club – ‘Bly’s Story’

Bronze: Their Future Today – ‘My Life in Foster Care – An Animated film, based on the true story of Richard Farleigh’

Under £100k

We Care CampaignThe Ones Who Care

Silver: MindFood CIO – ‘BUD’ 

Bronze: Book Clubs in Schools – ‘Books are not just about reading’

People’s Choice: Friends Of Kirkby Fleetham CE Primary School – Watch Us Grow

Silver: T-21 Charity – ‘Birch Tree Cafe – What we are about’

Bronze: Save A Kill Shelter Dog – ‘Benjamin and Eira’s Story’

Longform £20m+

Action Aid International Perfect Storm

Silver: Alzheimer’s Research UK – ‘Ray & Mariel’

Bronze: Parkinson’s UK – ‘Parkinson’s, DBS and Me – Decision Day’

People’s Choice: Parkinson’sDBS and Me – Episode 8: Decision Day

Silver: Alzheimer’s Research UK –‘Ray & Mariel’

Bronze: Action Aid International – Perfect Storm

Longform £5m-£20m

Teenage Cancer TrustFrancesca’s story – Royal Albert Hall 2022

Silver: Royal Trinity Hospice – ‘Royal Trinity Hospice: Every Moment Matters’

Bronze: Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust – ‘Chimney Meadows wetland restoration project’

People’s Choice: Khalsa Aid InternationalFeeding Humanity One Meal At A Time

Silver: Cash For Kids – ‘The Block’

Bronze: Mountbatten Isle of Wight – ‘Anyone. Anywhere. Anytime’

Longform £350k-£5m

The Wave Project Victory of Determination

Silver: Niemann-Pick UK (NPUK) – ‘Invisible Manners’

Bronze: AfriKids – ‘How to Make a Difference in Africa’

People’s Choice:

Grief EncounterOut of Darkness

Silver: YGAM – ‘Do It For Her’

Bronze: Epilepsy Scotland – ‘Phil’s epilepsy story’

Longform Under £350k

Boys In Mind Will’s Story

Silver: Power for the People – ‘Remba Island: Creating Transformational Change with Handshakes not Handouts’

Bronze: Big Love Charity – ‘Resourcing Hope’

People’s Choice: Streets2HomesHelping Those Who Are Homeless

Silver: Phoenix Heroes CIC – ‘Tackling PTSD Carp Fishing’

Bronze: Withington Walls – ‘Make yourself at home’


Swiss startup to equip raillines with solar panels

We’re really starting to get creative with how we generate power and energy as the effect of climate change start to become more apparent. One place trying its best to utilize space more efficiently to generate power is Switzerland.

Swiss railways are rolling out a project to install solar panels on their railways to generate power and ideally not take up as much space as solar farms usually do, creating a situation where railways are going to have multiple uses. 

Swiss start-up Sun-Ways is installing panels near Buttes train station in the west of the country in May as long as they get the signoff from the Federal Office of Transport. This is among a lot of other projects in the EU, finding creative places to put solar panels like reservoirs, dams, roadsides, and farms. 

But the Sun-Ways system is removable if needed, making it a first of its kind.

“That is the innovation,” co-founder Baptiste Danichert tells Swissinfo.

Sun-Ways has big ambitions for its project too, hoping to start rolling it out in other countries too. 

“There are over a million kilometres of railway lines in the world,” Danichert tells SWI Swissinfo. “We believe that 50 percent of the world’s railways could be equipped with our system.”

This article aligns with the UN SDG Climate Action.


Nature programme launches in UK

A Japanese water and nature education programme is being launched in the UK for the first time.

Tell me more!

Suntory Holdings, owner of Lucozade and Ribena, is launching its unique environmental education programme, Suntory Mizuiku, in the UK.

After a successful partnership last year, Suntory is working with The Severn Rivers Trust to deliver the programme.

The programme, named Mizuiku, was launched in 2004 with the aim of helping younger generations learn where their water comes from, and the significance of the natural world.

To date, 458,700 people across the world have taken part, starting with the initial project in Japan and expanding to Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, France, China, Spain and now the UK.

How does it work?

‘The Outdoor School of Forest and Water’ is part of the programme that is receiving focus on the UK. It’s designed to provide participants with interactive, hands-on experiences that help them appreciate the importance of natural water sources.

The Severn Rivers Trust will be running sessions highlighting why the lifecycle of water is so important and encourage participants to reflect and act to preserve and protect our water, rivers and wildlife. 

Launching at the end of May and running until October, families will be able to book onto free sessions at five different riverside locations: Lydney, Diglis, Warwick, Shrewsbury and Newtown.

If you’re interested in getting involved, you can find more information on The Severn Rivers Trust website.

This article aligns with the UN SDG Climate Action, Clean Water and Sanitation.


Multi-story car park turned into food garden

A multi-story car park is being turned into a food garden.

Amazing! Tell me more.

The Vyse Street Food Project aims to improve and reduce the city’s carbon footprint whilst delivering quality, clean food to residents.

The project is a collaboration between the Birmingham City Council and Slow Food UK, while the garden is being designed by Urban Design Hub LTD.

Is it just a farm?

Nope – in fact there’s loads going on! There will be a community space and garden for locals to hang out in, and even an educational hub and café.

If you want to support community food projects in Birmingham in the meantime, you can do so through Incredible Surplus.

This article aligns with the UN SDGs Good Health and Wellbeing and Climate Action.


Contractor adds an accessibility ramp to a home for free

Accessibility issues are everywhere, and according to the CDC over 1 in 4 people in the US live with some kind of disability. Schools may lack accessible learning options, or someone’s home may lack a wheelchair-accessible ramp. 

An Ohio contractor wanted to change that for one family. 

Jerry Tonjes, a contractor in Napoleon, Ohio who owns JT’s Building and Construction, was one of many contractors contacted by the Wirick about adding an accessibility ramp to their house after their father had knee replacement surgery and was using a wheelchair to get around. 

“I called about 50 contractors and three of them got back to me. One of which was Jerry,” Jamie said.

After Jerry finished the ramp on the house and the Wiricks tried to pay, he declined. 

“There was no cost,” Tonjes said. “It came to the point where it was minimal dollars. It was just a good gesture that I just felt I had to do for [Jamie].”

His act of kindness also came from a place of empathy, relating to their situation.

“I’ve been going through the same thing similar with my fiance,” he said. “She had multiple myeloma cancer, so we were trying to give back to the community. She’s doing well.”

Beyond anything, he just wanted to help a family that needed it.

“I’ve done multiple ramps for people but it’s just sort of hit me,” Jerry said. “I can do something good for a change because we don’t have a lot of good in the world right now.”

This article aligns with the UN SDG Partners of the Goals.